Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian continues strong start to 2015 in Roar testing

The squad has moved to a Honda-powered Ligier JS P2 machine for the 2015 season.

Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian continues strong start to 2015 in Roar testing
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Matt McMurry
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Matt McMurry
A.J. Allmendinger
A.J. Allmendinger and John Pew
A.J. Allmendinger and John Pew
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Matt McMurry
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Matt McMurry
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Matt McMurry
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Matt McMurry
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Matt McMurry
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Matt McMurry
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Matt McMurry
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Matt McMurry
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Matt McMurry
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Matt McMurry
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Matt McMurry
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Matt McMurry
#60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Ligier JS P2 Honda: John Pew, Oswaldo Negri, A.J. Allmendinger, Matt McMurry

Daytona Beach, Fla. – Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian is one of the most experienced IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship teams in the paddock, having competed at Daytona International Speedway for the past 10 years.

The Columbus-based team has run as many as three cars in one Rolex 24 At Daytona (2011), won the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 in 2012, and even set a new track speed record at the track in 2013.

But this year, the Ohio-based team arrived at the World Center of Speed for the annual ‘Roar Before the 24’ test days with a brand new car and a brand new challenge.

After competing in the TUDOR Championship with a Daytona Prototype for 10 years, the squad has moved to a Honda-powered Ligier JS P2 machine for the 2015 season.

A productive test in the first time out with the new car earlier this week at Palm Beach International Raceway built some familiarity with the Honda-powered Ligier JS P2, and the team rose to the challenge with another positive outing in the traditional Roar Before the 24 to close out the week.

Driver line-up

The full Rolex 24 At Daytona driver line-up – which includes longtime Michael Shank Racing drivers John Pew, Ozz Negri and AJ Allmendinger as well as 17-year-old newcomer Matt McMurry – all took part in the test as the group learned the intricacies of the new machinery.

The test provided a healthy mix of different track conditions with Friday presenting cool and overcast weather, while Saturday brought sunny skies and milder temperatures. Sunday’s sessions opened with medium precipitation, giving the team a chance to also learn more about the car in wet conditions and how it runs on the Continental Tire rain tires.

Allmendinger set the fastest time of the afternoon session on Saturday, with the Ligier-Honda showing speed right out of the box with competitive times through the full weekend of sessions.

It’s very different preparing this car compared to preparing the Daytona Prototype (DP).

Michael Shank

It was a valuable three days for the Michael Shank Racing team, who gathered important data on the car heading into the Rolex 24 At Daytona as well the entire 2015 season.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how good the car is and how well prepared it is,” said Team Owner Mike Shank. “We’ve had little issues, but nothing ever slowed us down. It’s a big learning process. The Onroak folks were amazingly accommodating to us and made sure we had what we needed when we needed it. But on top of that, they’ve built a car that everybody just loves to drive.

I think we are very competitive so that’s good. It’s very different preparing this car compared to preparing the Daytona Prototype (DP). We know what the DP did, we had it for 10 years. With this new car, we just don’t know. We have four days back at the shop and it’s just going to be a massive press to make sure we get everything done that we need to.”

The excitement from each person on the team involved with the new Honda-powered Ligier JS P2 is unmistakable. From the crew, to the drivers, to the Michael Shank Racing fans, the 2015 TUDOR Championship is a very highly anticipated one.

The Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Honda powered-Ligier JS P2 will make its official race debut on January 24, 2015 when it takes the green flag for the 53rd running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Driver comments

John Pew: “I’m very happy with the car. It’s very consumer friendly, driver friendly as far as the controls and the cockpit and the cooling. I think it’s very friendly to the mechanics to work on. It’s very easy to work on – it’s well thought out. I’m with Mike (Shank) 100% on his decision to switch from the Daytona Prototype to the Ligier JS P2. It was time to change and this was the way to go. Someday I would like to race over in France (at Le Mans)…”

Ozz Negri: “The Ligier JS P2 is a car that rewards rolling speed into the corner. Driving a Daytona Prototype for so long, we were naturally worried about how long it would take for us to really get a handle on this car and what it takes to drive. But it was really seamless – it happened really fast. This car does everything a racecar driver wants. I’m impressed with it. I’m also extremely impressed with the HPD Honda package. What we’ve been working on a lot at this test is the electronics and working to keep the tire life as long as possible. There is still a lot to learn, but we are in good shape. I’m extremely happy to have made this move and I feel pretty confident heading into the Rolex 24.”

AJ Allmendinger: “This is the type of racecar that really throughout the last 10, 11 years of car racing that I’ve done, I’ve always wanted to try. I’ve always thought the cars looked beautiful and anyone you talk to that sits in these types of car, just raves about how fun it is to drive. The support that I see around the hauler and on the timing stands from Honda and Onroak, is more than I’ve ever seen. Just for that fact, I’m excited for the Rolex 24 and I think we have a great shot. We still have a lot of work to do to get the car comfortable for everybody but I’m just liking the support system that Mike (Shank) has. It’s probably the most support he’s ever had and that it was excites me the most.”

Matt McMurry: “I’ve been really impressed with everything I’ve seen so far at Michael Shank Racing with Honda and Onroak. It’s just been really good. Everyone has been so supportive and welcoming this entire weekend. The Ligier JS P2 car has been really, really fun to drive. It feels like it’s already set up pretty well and I think we have a great opportunity to do really well in the Rolex 24.”

Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian

shares
comments
Corvette DPs gain speed on second day of Roar before The Rolex 24 testing at Daytona

Previous article

Corvette DPs gain speed on second day of Roar before The Rolex 24 testing at Daytona

Next article

WeatherTech Racing successful Roar test weekend

WeatherTech Racing successful Roar test weekend
Load comments
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy Prime

Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy

Can Mazda win this year’s IMSA Prototype championship? Undoubtedly. But it will be the culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit. David Malsher-Lopez tells the story of a bizarre blend of heartache and positivity.

IMSA
Apr 6, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Prime

Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Prime

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitters Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Prime

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Motorsport.com to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best.

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020